How Time Entry Compliance Gives Power Back to Lawyers

Traditionally, when you think of the work that a lawyer handles on a daily basis, you don’t think of billing. While a lawyer is responsible for entering his or her time, the lawyer might be entirely disconnected from billing rules and outside counsel guidelines in most firms. However, when a lawyer does become engaged in this process, the effects are profound for both the lawyer and the firm.

This traditional disconnect between the completion of work and billing is costly to the firm. Until now, there was not much that could be done to avoid this. However, time entry compliance (also referred to as real-time compliance) is a game changer for firms.

“Say, What?” How Real-time Compliance Works

Real-time compliance is just a fancy term to describe the breakthrough technology that now (for the first time!) allows the accounting and finance departments to work directly with lawyers to ensure that outside counsel guidelines are met.

Due to the disconnect that exists between a lawyer’s time entry practices and a client's guidelines, firms often bill for time that is not in compliance with the agreed-upon billing guidelines. More times than not, this leads to a host of complications, costing the finance department time and money dealing with rejections, corrections, and resubmissions.

Real-time compliance bridges the gap by presenting bad news early enough so that it is actually good news. This is accomplished by the lawyer’s time cards being validated immediately upon entering time, rather than later, ensuring that they comply with client billing guidelines.

When lawyers get involved in the billing process, both the firm and the lawyers benefit in the following ways:

  • Increased compliance with client billing guidelines
  • Enhanced relationships and trust between a lawyer and the client
  • Reduced man hours spent fixing and correcting errors, which frees up resources to be used more strategically to advance the firm
  • Decrease in resubmissions, which leads to faster payment cycles

Real-time Compliance Brings the Power to Lawyers

This connectedness to the billing process places lawyers in a lucrative position. Here’s how:

  • Billing issues are resolved before an invoice is submitted to the client, which makes the lawyer and his or her firm more credible in the eyes of the client.
  • Real-time compliance saves the firm time and money by adhering to guidelines, leading to fewer write-offs, corrections, and resubmissions. While other functions within the organization are involved here, the lawyer is the critical piece in understanding the importance of outside counsel compliance for the firm.
  • Client trust and satisfaction is earned and maintained. Real-time compliance is yet another tool that helps lawyers manage their client relationships more closely.

Simply by entering time more accurately, lawyers now have the ability to better manage their client relationships, impact productivity, and expand their contribution to the firm’s financial performance. Now that you know this, it is easy to understand why we are so passionate about this technological breakthrough that is defining the future of legal technology.


Bellefield is committed to helping lawyers improve their work lives by developing innovative and intuitive applications that solve real-world challenges. Bellefield does this by identifying a problem, evaluating it from many different perspectives, and working tirelessly to create the best possible solution. Bellefield’s flagship product iTimeKeep ranks #1 as the most adopted Mobile Time Entry solution for lawyers. Founded by software veterans Gabriela Isturiz, Daniel Garcia, and John Kuntz, Bellefield is an independent, privately held company headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Click here for more information.

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